Relatively little plastic is recycled because of the current limitations of recycling and reprocessing technology. It is technically challenging and highly labour intensive to sort, identify and separate out various chemical components (different types of plastics and non-plastic components such as paper and organic material) and re-process (current processes can only re-process a single uniform type of polymer at a time). In addition, the products that can currently be produced are limited to low performance and low value products. The resulting high cost and low product value means the process is not generally cost-effective for industry.
This solution provides an exciting, novel and innovative processing that can overcome these barriers to recycling. The novel Integrated waste Re-manufacturing system has the capacity to reduce the processing steps and costs required to separate and reprocess waste to produce a high performance, high value products in one automated step, on a small scale, in local small-scale manufacturing plants at a low, commercially viable cost. Whilst this affordable technology can be applied broadly for the production/development of other high-performance commercial products, this solution will apply this technology to the production of high quality, stylish, low cost luggage of exceptional durability.
The key activities include establishing an Industry 4.0 line to automate current manual procedures, test and integrate various waste plastics into the manufacturing process using newly developed technology ready and produce and evaluate a high-performance product (luggage) made from 100% waste.
Plastic polymers are primarily sourced from non-renewable fossil fuel and petrochemical sources. As waste plastic polymers have already been produced it is estimated that substituting 1 KG of a petrochemical based virgin polymer with a waste plastic polymer will reduce CO2 emissions by 10.92 kilos. If just 2% of current plastic production in Australia as an example utilised, the net saving in CO2 emissions would be 327 million tonnes.